International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Greatness in Athletes: A Philosophic Inquiry
Douglas M. Carroll

This study advances a philosophical inquiry into the question of applying the value of greatness to athletes. The construct of greatness is delineated and compared to theories of “goodness” proposed by Bentham, Mill, and Hartman. Issues of comparability and commensurability related to the Trichotomy Thesis are explicated. Additionally, the ancient Greek construct of arête as referenced by Socrates, Aristotle and Plato is investigated in relation to athletes. The study concludes that despite mass media hyperbole, only a very few athletes throughout history could be considered “great.”

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